Jay M. Ezelle

Jay M. Ezelle: Attorney with Starnes Davis Florie LLP AV stamp icon
  • Partner at Starnes Davis Florie LLP (58 Attorneys)
  • 100 Brookwood Place, 7th Floor, Birmingham, AL 35209
    View Jay M. Ezelle's office location
  • Peer Reviews

    5.0/5.0 (16)
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Attorney Awards


Jay has practiced with Starnes since 1999 and is the Managing Partner for the firm. Jay has served in numerous leadership roles for the firm, including Chief Strategy Partner, Hiring Partner, member of the Executive Committee, and Head of the Commercial Litigation and IP Litigation Practice Groups. As Managing Partner, Jay is responsible for the execution of firm’s strategy and managing the operations of the firm’s expanding regional footprint.

Jay also maintains an active legal practice providing counsel and solutions for clients with complex and high-risk problems. He has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies in a variety of litigation including national class actions and multidistrict litigation. He has also represented clients involved in mass shootings, infectious disease outbreaks, and nationally publicized disputes ranging from sexual assaults, workplace indiscretions, student suicide, and intellectual property battles. He also regularly provides guidance to hospitals, academic medical centers, and healthcare providers on a variety of compliance and risk-avoidance measures. He also has vast experience in advising universities in high-profile matters ranging from Clery Act, campus safety, employment issues, Title IX, and NCAA investigations.

Numerous publications have identified Jay Ezelle as a leading lawyer. According to Chambers USA, “his ability to quickly comprehend a situation and devise a strategy for moving forward is extraordinary. He has a keen attention to detail and works well with everyone.”

Professional Recognition

•AV Preeminent Rated
•Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
•Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation
•Best Lawyers in America
•Alabama and Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Intellectual Property Star by IP Stars
• Top 40 Under 40 for 2012 by the Birmingham Business Journal



•Represented numerous entities in compliance, regulatory, and pre-suit investigations by using the firm’s litigation experience to conduct a systematic inquiry into practices creating potential exposure and the advising clients on the best practices to minimize those risks. For example, early involvement in a deadly Legionella outbreak at a hospital helped the hospital to manage the response and press coverage and allowed early resolution of all potential claims without a single lawsuit being filed.
•Represented numerous companies in trade secret matters ranging from high-stakes litigation involving corporate espionage to advising small companies on how to avoid liability for trade secret misappropriation when hiring or firing employees.
•Represented public and private companies, as well as universities, in trade secret disputes, including representing The University of Alabama in a trademark dispute with sports artist Daniel A. Moore that was the subject of press coverage by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, NPR and ESPN.
•Represented public and private companies, universities, and individual inventors in patent infringement litigation including Sony, Procter & Gamble, The University of Alabama System, UAB Research Foundation, UAHuntsville, Rice University, and Emory University.
•Represented and helped obtain dismissals and/or favorable settlements for numerous global financial institutions in the highly-publicized Enron, HealthSouth, WorldCom, Just for Feet, and Walter Energy securities litigations.
•Defended Universities from claims for alleged violations of Title IX as well as advised universities on best practices for compliance with Title IX.
•Successfully obtained full summary judgment for academic medical center institutional review board and investigator in class action relating to alleged ethical violations in human research trials that was the subject of extensive news coverage and academic commentary, including in the New England Journal of Medicine.
•Obtained favorable settlement for a Voice Over Internet Provider in lawsuit filed by Alabama Statewide 911 Board.
•Obtained a favorable settlement for a large government contractor in a fraud and breach of contract case with a former employee.
•Obtained dismissal and favorable settlement for KKR in numerous litigation filed following the leveraged recapitalization of Bruno’s grocery chain.
•Represented an NFL player in a civil case alleging assault and battery.
•Obtained declaratory judgment for General Motors allowing it to close car dealership under the Alabama Motor Vehicle Franchise Act and ruling that GM was not obligated to pay the dealer 1.2 million in alleged debt forgiveness and sales tax revenue relief offered by the City of Birmingham.
•Obtained a complete dismissal for The University of Alabama and its President in litigation stemming from the termination of Mike Price, the former head football coach, in what USA Today described as one of the “top 25 biggest sports scandals”.
•Obtained dismissal of a class action alleging inadequate Medicare reimbursement by a long term care management company.
•Obtained favorable ruling for a university in a First Amendment case alleging that the school improperly limited the free speech rights of non-sponsored speakers.
•Successfully represented a lender in the establishment of a receivership of a regional healthcare company and the successful liquidation of the debtor’s assets.
•Obtained order compelling class action against insurance carrier to arbitration, where the class claims were completely dismissed.

Presentations and Publications

A Ballpark Overview: The Field of Sports Law, NCAA Compliance Panel, October 13, 2017
•Jay M. Ezelle, “Insights to Litigation,” The Birmingham Business Journal, August 18, 2017
•Jay M. Ezelle and Cole R. Gresham, “Big Verdicts, Limited Discovery: The Rising Importance of Trade Secrets in Alabama,” in the Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 44 at 55 - 77 (2014).
•Jay M. Ezelle and C. Clayton Bromberg, Jr., “The Internal Affairs Doctrine in Alabama”, The Alabama Lawyer, Vol. 72, No. 2, at 143 - 147 (March 2011).
Potential Liability Arising from Mass Epidemics, International Association of Defense Counsel Seminar in Scottsdale, AZ (February 21, 2017).
Don’t Be Fumbled or Be Intercepted: Legal Observations from the Sidelines, Birmingham Bar Association CLE (September 8, 2016).
Sports Law CLE, Birmingham Bar Association CLE (March 5, 2016).
Compliance Under the NCAA’s New Enforcement Model, Alabama Chapter - Association of Corporate Counsel Seminar in Birmingham, AL (September 20, 2013).

News & Insights

Jay Ezelle Named Managing Partner of Starnes Davis Florie LLP
•Eight Starnes Attorneys Named Leaders in their Field in Chambers USA 2019
•Starnes Davis Florie Ranked in the 2019 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
•Twenty-Seven SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2019
•SDF Ranked A Top Firm by Chambers USA 2018
•8 SDF Partners Named “Leaders in their Field” in Chambers USA 2018
•Twenty-Eight SDF Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America
•Starnes Davis Florie Named a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm in the 2018 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
•SDF and Jay Ezelle Featured in Birmingham Business Journal’s Insights to Litigation
•Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2017
•Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named “Leaders in their Field” in Chambers USA 2017
•Twenty-Six SDF Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers
•Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2016
•Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named “Leaders in their Field” in Chambers USA 2016
•Benchmark Litigation 2016 Named Starnes Davis Florie a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm
•Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers
•Starnes Davis Florie Wins Alabama Supreme Court Decision in Professor Shooting Suit

Areas of Practice (24)

  • Antitrust
  • Arbitration
  • Class Actions
  • Collegiate Sports
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Early Case Assessment
  • Energy, Natural Resources & Land Use
  • False Claims Act / Qui Tam
  • Governmental
  • Healthcare Audits and False Claims Act Investigations
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Internal Investigations
  • Investigations
  • Mass Torts
  • Outbreaks
  • Patent Litigation
  • Privacy & Data Security
  • Product Liability
  • Recalls
  • Securities
  • Trade Secret Litigation & Dispute Counseling
  • Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Litigation
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Wrongful Death / Catastrophic Injury

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
205-868-6025  Phone
205-868-6099  Fax
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 598512, Birmingham, AL 35209
University Attended:
Rhodes College, B.S., 1995
Law School Attended:
University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1999
Year of First Admission:
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama; U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama; 1999, Alabama

Community Involvement

Jay is actively involved at the Cathedral Church of the Advent where he serves as a member of the vestry.

He currently serves on the board of the United Ability Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is the Chairman of the Board for Covenant Counseling and Education Center.

Jay previously served as the Chairman of the Board of United Ability, a non-profit providing innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives.

Birth Information:
Mobile, Alabama, October 10, 1974
Reported Cases:
Reported Cases; W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., L.L.C. v. Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., L.P., 566 F.3d 979 (11th Cir. 2009). General Elec. Capital Corp. v. Emergystat, Inc., 2009 WL 4465245 (N.D.Ala. 2009). The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama v. Nektar Therapeutics, Inc., 2005 WL 2335714 (N.D. Ala. 2005). Price v. University of Alabama, 2004 WL 1253201 (11th Cir. Apr. 20, 2004). Nichols v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., 364 F.Supp.2d 1330 (N.D.Ala. 2004). Wisconsin Investment Bd. v. Ruttenberg, 300 F.Supp.2d 1210 (N.D.Ala. 2004). Price v. University of Alabama, 318 F.Supp.2d 1084 (N.D.Ala. 2003). W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., LLC v. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., L.P., 234 F.Supp.2d 1218 (N.D.Ala. 2002). Retirement Systems of Alabama v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 209 F.Supp.2d 1257 (M.D.Ala. 2002).

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (16 reviews)
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A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
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  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Partner on 02/17/12 in Civil Litigation

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Partner on 05/11/10 in Commercial Litigation

    Jay is an outstanding litigator. The focus of his practice may be med-mal. I am involved with him in IP litigation. He's like a very good pool player. It doesn't make very much difference what the game is -- he knows how to move the balls around.

    Jay is an outstanding litigator. The focus of his practice may be med-mal. I am involved with him in IP litigation. He's like a very good pool player. It doesn't make very much difference what the game is -- he knows how to move the balls around. Read less

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Birmingham, Alabama

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